My dad is a carpet cleaner—and a very fine one, at that. It’s a lovely luxury to enjoy the feeling of fluffy, soft, newly-cleaned fibers under your feet. But, just like everything else in life, carpet requires maintenance.
Most people clean their carpets about once every five years. However, if carpet receives a regular maintenance cleaning (like once every five months), it stays fresh and relatively unsoiled.
The same is true about spiritual maintenance. There’s nothing like the feeling of a spiritual high. Like sensing a close fellowship with our heavenly Father, the Spirit within delighting in the things of God.
However, those mountaintop seasons usually don’t happen very often or last for very long. They are most often connected to an emotional state rather than a spiritual discipline.
Pretty much every Christian that I know has experienced something that can be called “spiritual dryness” or “feeling distant from God.”
Perhaps it’s a profound desert of cold religion that lasts for weeks, sometimes months. Or maybe it’s just an off-day and you know you’re not loving God as you should.
If you have understood and believed the gospel, I’d like to share what you can know to be true from Scripture when you walk through a spiritually dry—or, to keep with the carpet analogy, “dingy”—season:
- God is “well pleased” with you as you stand before Him, positionally perfect in the sacrificial payment of His Son. (Matthew 3:16-17)
- While your sin “grieves” the heart of God, your rebellion or lack of growth can only affect your ability to enjoy God and thrive in His goodness and truth—it cannot thwart God’s unconditional love for you. (Ephesians 4:30, Romans 8:38)
- Sin (even “small” sin like laziness) deceives us and causes us to die spiritually instead of grow spiritually. That is why we may feel distant in our relationship and communion with God (even though our righteous standing before Him in Christ will never change). (Romans 8:6)
God does not expect us to be spiritually spotless at all times!
He knows that that is an impossibility while we are in these sinful bodies with sinful natures. Scripture says that “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 10:13-14) In other words, God knows that it’s scary to be us! He understands that we are fallen beings in need of holy perfection—that’s why He provided His Son Jesus Christ!
And yet, God designed us to flourish while pursuing holiness, spiritual cleanliness. In fact, that is His greatest goal for your life.
Just like maintaining lovely carpet, maintaining a heart of spiritual loveliness requires regular routine—faithful actions in the small things.
So how can we as Christian women establish the kind of “maintenance” that keeps our spiritual lives healthy, fresh, and vibrant?
Here are four tips that I have found to be invaluable as I pursue a clean, fresh spiritual walk:
1. Gospel Reflection
As Christians, it is essential that we meditate upon the gospel and grow in our appreciation for it. Every night before bed, I take a few minutes to read verses that specifically explain what Christ has done for me, paying for my sin and empowering me to live victoriously.
Here are some of the verses that I use on rotation: Ephesians 2:4-7, John 3:16, Titus 3:4-8, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Galatians 1:3-5. Devoting just this small amount of time to meditate on the gospel each night has done three huge things for me: It has helped me value the gospel like never before, it has directed my thoughts away from sinful directions when I am vulnerable at night, and it has motivated my heart to seek fellowship with God in my quiet time the next morning.
2. Daily Devotions
We all know. We all know that we should read life-giving Scripture and be praying every single day. It is simple in concept, but it is hard to perform. Our enjoyment of our relationship with God takes effort, just like any other relationship.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to prioritize this in your life, regardless of how much sleep you need or how much school you have. This one thing is needful: to sit before the feet of our loving Father, worshiping, casting our cares, and receiving wisdom (Luke 10:42).
I would encourage you to dig deep in your times with God by keeping a super doable study journal.
Personally, I read one chapter in the old testament and one in the new. For each chapter, I journal a star, a question mark, and an arrow. The star notes something in the chapter that strikes me as interesting or notable.
The question mark notes something I don’t understand or may wonder about the passage. The arrow is for personal application—applying a specific verse or general principle from the chapter to my life.
3. Scripture Memorization
Memorizing Scripture is a great way to maintain your spiritual walk! Not only does it commit God’s precious words to memory, it allows you to meditate upon truth and goodness as you go about your day. It helps to fill those “dead times” when you don’t need much brain power. For example: in the car, in the shower, getting ready, doing housework, etc.
Memorize verses, chapters, or books that are especially meaningful and applicable to you. Committing scripture to memory has so many pay-offs. It comforts and encourages your spirit, it supplies you with spiritual ammunition when you’re tempted to sin, and it provides wisdom by filtering life’s situations through God’s word.
4. Listening to Sermons
Finally, find some great podcasts, Youtube channels, or apps that stream speakers who are committed to teaching through God’s word. This is another awesome “dead time” filler that will edify your soul.
What are some helpful tips that you have discovered for spiritual maintenance?
This guest post was written by our good friend, Liz Wickham. If you’re interested in writing for Girl Defined, click here.